Tomb Raider (3.5/5) is more or less everything a Tomb Raider flick is supposed to be: a handful of silly, overextended Indiana Jones-cribbing set pieces interspersed with exposition nobody asked for and a lead lightyears better than the material demands. It’s campy, prequel fluff — but, given Alicia Vikander’s charisma, it’s extremely watchable fluff. I honestly had a blast with this one: it’s playfully self-aware, and does a fantastic job of giving agency (and fallibility) to a Lara Croft a lesser film would simply oogle. Like Shailene Woodley in the Divergent Series, Vikander emotes her heroism not by being preternaturally badass, but by being believably human: every feat of video game athleticism (whether leaping over a waterfalls or kicking baddies in the face) is accompanied by tennis-style grunts and sharp, wheezing gasps. We feel the weight of each hit; and while no movie can quite convey the interactivity of a video game, that vicarious exhaustion comes pretty damn close. Her tireless commitment is the sole reason to see this movie and, thankfully, there’s more than enough.
Chris and I talk Tikka Masala, meeting Tonya Harding, and Jehova starting with an I in this week’s quick, boozy Episode of The Spoiler Warning Podcast: